Axis of Evil, Commentary and Change

Comedy has the power to enact political change, as professed by Brian Logan in his article “Arrest that comedian! How satire could swing the UK election”. Logan in this essay sites contemporary examples of how comedy can help change political results. This is done mostly by pointing out logical breaks within a party or political figure’s policy. This is shown in the case of the SNL “Axis of Evil” cold open. In which, Will Ferrell delivers a monologue as George Bush. Ferrell condemns Bush as a man obsessed with war, and angry at things which confuse or frighten him. This is a commentary on the Iraq War, which Bush was integral in starting, some say without reason. Ferrell says “But my Axis of evil doesn’t seem to interest some people out there. Some people just want to talk about the economy, and budgets, and Enron. I bet most of you don’t even understand Enron, I sure as heck don’t. It hurts my head to think about it. S from now on, Enron is part of my Axis of evil. I don’t want to hear anything else about Enron unless our military has pounded it into submission.” This statement defines this sketch, and how it’s creators view Bush, as a man easily confused who uses military power as the answer to everything. The use of costume and parody is also important in this sketch, as it adds an air of believability to it. Although Bush has never said these things, the manners in which Ferrell says it makes it seem like something Bush could have said.

But the question behind this really is does something like this sketch really enact political change? Logan seems to believe in it’s ability to enact change. However, I instead believe that this sort of political mocking does nothing but please those who are already displeased with a politician. This sketch creates humor for Bush’s opposition, but his followers could find only uncouth ridicule. While some comedy can bring about political change, it is not always so.

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